Are you haunted with the nagging sense that you were made for more than your normal experience? That there is some purpose, some meaning whose shadowy presence constantly eludes you? I believe the sad story of Eve unravels much of the mystery that plagues our existence. Eve was created to be a queen, to rule with her husband Adam (Genesis 1:28). Her life had purpose, and meaning. All of creation was to submit to their authority.
She was no doubt beautiful, possessing vibrant health and energy. She and Adam must have had incredible intelligence, with Adam originating names for every animal. Together they had a perfect world to explore and cultivate. They had a perfect relationship with each other and with their Maker who had provided for their every need, even to making their orchard beautiful as well as delicious. Imagine having no unmet needs. Their only need was to enjoy God and the life He’d provided by fulfilling His perfect plan for them.
We are familiar with the temptation of Eve in the garden of Eden. The serpent focused Eve’s attention on the only restriction placed on her and went to work planting seeds of doubt about God’s character and love for her. She took the bait. Even in a perfect environment with perfect relationships, she wanted more. It wasn’t enough to be the queen of the created, she wanted to be like God, the Most High. But no one ever becomes godly by rebelling against God. After fleeting pleasure, Eve discovered that God had not been holding out on her. His one restriction was her precious protection from harm and loss.
I believe Eve faced another temptation after her encounter with the serpent in the garden. The second temptation was to live buried under the pain of regret over her fall and failure. Daily she witnessed the consequences of her sin played out in the lives of those she loved. When Cain murdered Abel did she think, “This is my fault,”? Have you ever been stung by shame? Have you ever churned with regrets? “If only ….”
Satan is the tempter, but he is also the accuser. He tempts us to sin and when we do, he jumps on us with all fours and tries to destroy us with shame, guilt and regret. “Give up, your life is worthless. The world would be better without you,” he lies. If anyone ever had a reason to be beaten down with regret and a temptation to give up for all they had destroyed by their own foolishness, Eve did. Yet I believe there is evidence Eve did not give in to this temptation.
Eve certainly felt shame. But when confronted by God, after first trying to hide, she confesses, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” We aren’t told her response to the judgments, but at the birth of her sons she expresses the belief and hope that God is still giving her good gifts and will keep His promise to send a redeemer. Eve lived with hope and a sense that God was still blessing her in spite of her failure. Yes, her sin had consequences, but God was not against her. In fact her and Adam’s sin had moved God to set in motion the greatest act of love in all eternity. God would send His very own Son, not Eve’s, to die in her place so that she and we can one day be restored to the place that was lost at the fall.
Let us remember Eve’s terrible ongoing loss and pain when we are tempted to doubt the goodness and wisdom of God’s revealed will, when we think we can enhance our lives outside His will. Sin ultimately changes us, our relationships and hurts those we love.
When we fail, let us also remember how she did not let regret ruin the years God gave her. Adam and Eve did not give up, but went on to raise godly sons (Abel and Seth) and a godly line. Regret has as much power as fig leaves in covering our shame. God killed animals to provide covering for Adam and Eve. He sacrificed His Son to provide righteousness for us. May we humbly throw off our fig leaves and receive His covering for our sin. God is still caring for us, still giving good gifts, and continues to sanctify us through His perfect gift, the woman’s seed, Jesus.
P.S. Ladies, join Debbie’s summer Wednesday evening Bible study, looking at women of the Bible.